Explore magical Myanmar travelling from Yangon to Inle Lake, Bagan and Mandalay.

Myanmar is a country with a deep and fascinating culture. Beginning and ending in Yangon, discover the spiritual heavyweight of Shwedagon Pagoda, journey through Bagan and its thousands of pagodas, cross the longest teak bridge in the world near Mandalay and enjoy life lakeside at Inle Lake, where floating markets, leg-rowing fishermen and ethnic minorities make for a unique destination. Mix in delicious food, breathtaking landscapes and people both curious and welcoming, and you have a place that will keep you coming back for more.


Start
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Finish
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Country
Myanmar (Burma)
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
TRRB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Start and finish your explorations of Myanmar in incredible Yangon, rapidly developing but still packed with beautiful pagodas, astounding giant Buddhas and countless historical sites.

  • There are plenty of opportunities to get in touch with the people and culture in your ample free time. Try our Urban Adventures in Yangon, Bagan or Mandalay for river tours, exploring after dark, local food and community visits.

  • Tour the ancient city of Bagan by bicycle or float high above the spectacle of stupas in a hot air balloon. There are multiple magical ways to see this astonishing site and it's thousands of temples and pagodas.

  • Spend a full day waking through the hills and villages of Kalaw, getting up-close and personal with the culture of rural Myanmar.

  • Get lost in the floating markets of Inle Lake and encounter the many varied ethnic groups who call this place home - a quintessential Myanmar experience.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Myanmar is a large country with developing infrastructure. We are attempting to cover large distances in a short amount of time, so expect some long travel days as we travel between destinations.

  • While not strenuous, the full day of walking in Kalaw does require travellers to have a good general level of fitness and to bring appropriate footwear for walking in the countryside.

  • This trip gives you plenty of free time in each location, perfect for the traveller who appreciates a bit of independence. Choose to explore on your own, with your group members or join some of our Urban Adventures day tours on your free days.

  • Temperatures in Myanmar can be hot and humid year round. Check forecasts before you go and ensure you have suitable clothing and sun protection.

Itinerary

Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Myanmar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader.

If you have free time to explore before the meeting, we recommend stepping out onto the chaotic streets of Yangon. Once Myanmar’s capital, Yangon is still the country’s major city. See its beautiful skyline studded with the golden Shwedagon Paya temple. If you have the full day free, consider booking an Urban Adventure to see more of the city with an experienced local guide. Or explore at your own pace, and check out sites like the bustling Bogyoke Market, and the peaceful Kandawgyi Lake.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Let Yangon Take You For a Ride Urban Adventure - USD33
  • Yangon - Kandawgyi Lake - MMK300
  • Yangon - Bogyoke Market (Scotts Market) - Free
  • Yangon - Tradition & Culture in Yangon Urban Adventure - USD51
  • Yangon - Hands on Yangon Urban Adventure - USD67
  • Yangon - Yangon's Streets by Night Urban Adventure - USD36
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Catch an early morning transfer to the public bus station. Travel by public bus from Yangon to Bagan (approximately 10 hours). There will be 2 drivers on board, and scheduled breaks for lunch and in the afternoon. You can let your leader know if you need to make any extra rest breaks. Arrive in Bagan in the evening and check into your hotel. Stretch your legs after a long travel day by tracking down Bagan's best laphet (tea leave salad) or mohinga (rice noodle broth) at a nearby restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a full free day to explore the sites of Bagan. The archaeological site is where Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the Kingdom of Bagan and was once the site of 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries. Today, the ancient city still has over 2,000 brick and gilded ruins and is a stunning sight to behold.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
For sunrise today or tomorrow, many travellers like to take an optional hot air balloon ride over the site. On this flight take in breathtaking views above the stupa-studded landscape, followed by a light breakfast and champagne. The entire experience runs for approximately 2.5 hours, with flights times an average 45 minutes (ranging from 1 hour to 20 minutes subject to local conditions). Weather dependent, flights operate between October through to March. Advance bookings are highly recommended as places are limited. Please ask your booking agent for further details of the Premium and Classic service options.
Enjoy another free day to experience all that beautiful Bagan has to offer. Perhaps have a browse at the nearby Nyaung U Market and sample some of the local food stalls, or hire a bicycle and visit the many large and impressive archaeological sites and temples around Bagan, such as Dhammayangyi Pahto and Shwesandaw Paya. You can also pay a visit to the village of Kyunkalay, where you can enjoy lunch with a local family and learn how ActionAid Myanmar is using responsible tourism to improve local infrastructure and living conditions. Another great option is a sunset river cruise and picnic beside the Ayeyarwady River, the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway. Your leader can help you book any of these activities locally.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bagan - Nyaung U Market - Free
  • Bagan - Dinner & puppet show - MMK15000
  • Bagan - In Focus: Community Experience Tour - USD77
  • Bagan - Beyond Bagan Bike Tour Urban Adventure - USD53
  • Bagan – Bagan by Boat Sunset Cruise Urban Adventure - USD36
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Board a public ferry before dawn and cruise up the Ayeyarwady River to Mandalay. Depending on the daily schedule, the ferry departs at either 5:00am, 6:30am or 7:00am. You'll likely spend most of the day on deck watching riverside life go by, a wonderful way to experience local life. Some ferries also have a cafe/bar on the upper deck for drinks and simple meals, but you may also like to bring your own food with you. Arrive at Mandalay at 5:30 pm and transfer to a simple hotel where you’ll be staying for the next two nights.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The ferry from Bagan to Mandalay may be cancelled due to changing water levels on the Ayeyarwady River (usually February to May) and when there are fewer tourists travelling in low season (April to September). Cancellations may take place at the last minute and without warning. If this happens, the group will travel by road from Bagan to Mandalay (approx. 5 hours)

Join your group leader for a half day walking tour around Mandalay. Once known as The Golden City, Mandalay was the last capital of the former Kingdom of Myanmar. The afternoon is free to continue exploring this amazing city. Perhaps see the city by taking a local van or bus to Mahamuni Buddha Temple, an important pilgrimage site famous for its 2000-year-old golden Buddha statue. You may also like to visit the nearby cottage industries where gold leaf is made or go to Shwe In Bin Kyaung, the intricately carved teak monastery. In the evening, perhaps head to Mandalay Hill for a sunset view over the town, or see a puppetry or dance performance at the Mandalay Marionettes or Mintha Theatre.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mandalay - Walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Mandalay - Mandalay Hill - MMK1000
  • Mandalay - Mandalay Marionettes - MMK10000
  • Mandalay - Shwenandaw Monastery - MMK10000
  • Mandalay - Gold Leaf Pounding Workshop - Free
  • Mandalay - Mandalay Palace - MMK10000
  • Mandalay - The Road to Mandalay River Tour Urban Adventure - USD62
  • Mandalay - Mandalay in the Morning Urban Adventure - USD40
  • Mandalay - Ancient Cities, Pagodas & Sunset Tour Urban Adventure - USD81
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early this morning, and travel to Kalaw by private bus along the Great Road of China – the new superhighway built by the Chinese (approximately 8 hours). On the way you'll stop in at the impressive U Bein Bridge. At 1.2km long it is the world’s longest teak bridge. Kalaw is located in the mountains of Shan state and features stunning scenery.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today head to the hills and explore the villages, farms and forests in the area near Kalaw. Kalaw provides welcome relief from the heat of Myanmar's low-lying areas and is home to various ethnic minority groups, including the Palaung, Danu and Pa-O, as well as Indians and Nepalese who moved here during the British rule. You'll stop for a simple lunch at one of these local villages.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalaw - Full day trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy some free time this morning to see some more of the sights of Kalaw, including more beautiful Buddhist pagodas and the local market. In the afternoon, travel by bus for about three hours to Inle Lake. The calm waters of Inle Lake are the life-blood for many ethnic minority communities. They live in stilt houses along the lake's shallow fringes and surrounding areas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kalaw - Village market
  • Kalaw - Hnee Pagoda
  • Kalaw - Thein Thaung Paya
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a day to settle into lakeside life at your own pace. Perhaps take a boat trip out on the lake to pay a visit to the floating market, which circles the lake every five days, and encounter the various tribal people who converge at the marketplace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour - MMK22000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day at Inle Lake. Perhaps you’d like to visit the morning market at Mingala and later in the day, head to Nyuangshwe's oldest Buddhist monastery, Yadana Man Aung Paya. There's also a traditional puppet show held in town every evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Inle Lake - Aung Puppet Show - MMK5000
  • Inle Lake - Mingala Market - Free
  • Inle Lake - Yadana Man Aung Paya - Free
  • Inle Lake - Red Mountain Estate Winery Tasting - MMK3000
  • Inle Lake - Bicycle hire - MMK3000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to the splendour of Shan state and make your way to the airport in Heho. From here, take a one-hour flight back to the hustle and bustle of Yangon. After settling into the hotel, your leader will take you on an afternoon walking tour of downtown Yangon. Later in the afternoon, head out and see Shwedagon Paya. One of Buddhism's most sacred sites, the Golden Pagoda is adorned with 27 metric tonnes of gold leaf, along with thousands of diamonds and other gems. It is believed that the Pagoda holds eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha as well as other precious relics. Perhaps celebrate your final night in Myanmar with a group dinner.
Included Activities
  • Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Yangon - Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end this morning and you are free to depart at any time. If you have some free time in Yangon before leaving, your leader can suggest some things for you to do. If you’d like to stay on for a few extra days and have booked additional accommodation, your leader can help you get to your hotel. We can also assist in booking post-tour accommodation at our Basix Yangon hotel when you first book your trip.
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Hands on Yangon Urban Adventure - USD67
  • Yangon - Yangon's Streets by Night Urban Adventure - USD36
  • Yangon - Tradition & Culture in Yangon Urban Adventure - USD51
  • Yangon - Let Yangon Take You For a Ride Urban Adventure - USD33
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Boat, Private vehicle, Ferry, Plane, Public bus

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights)

Included activities

  • Mandalay - Walking tour
  • Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
  • Kalaw - Full day trek
  • Kalaw - Village market
  • Kalaw - Hnee Pagoda
  • Kalaw - Thein Thaung Paya
  • Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Yangon - Walking Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please provide passport details at time of booking with exact name as per passport, as these are essential for booking services on this trip.
2. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip.
3. The ferry from Bagan to Mandalay may be cancelled due to changing water levels on the Ayeyarwady River (usually February to May) and when there are fewer tourists travelling in low season (April to September). Cancellations may take place at the last minute and without warning. If this happens, the group will travel by road from Bagan to Mandalay (approx. 5 hours).
4. Intrepid can book an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Bagan (operating October to March). Please refer to Day 4 of the Trip Notes for more information. Places are limited and we recommend advance booking with your agent.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Myanmar Experience trips score an average of 4.86 out of 5 based on 188 reviews in the last year.

Myanmar Experience , November 2017

Kerry Symons

Myanmar Experience , October 2017

Raymond Russell